Southgate claims pundits make criticisms to 'stay relevant'
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Chelsea hero John Terry aimed a pointed dig at Roy Keane after Harry Maguire became England’s highest-scoring centre-back on Monday night. Maguire headed in the opener as the Three Lions thrashed San Marino 10-0 to cement their place at next year’s World Cup.
England cruised to victory in their final World Cup qualifier and were already 6-0 up at the break as Filippo Fabbri diverted the ball past his own keeper for England’s second, before Harry Kane struck four times.
In the second period Emile Smith Rowe, Tyrone Mings, Tammy Abraham and Bukayo Saka all added their names to the scoresheet as England humbled their lowly opponents.
Maguire’s goal was his seventh for his country as he moved one clear of legendary defender Terry. And Terry was quick to praise the centre-back after the match.
“@HarryMaguire93 Congratulations mate,” wrote the former Aston Villa assistant manager on Twitter.
“@England Highest scoring defender. Let’s see if a few of these pundits talk about that.”
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Maguire was on the scoresheet again last Friday as his header inside the opening 10 minutes put England in control against Albania.
But the defender was lambasted by Roy Keane after the match due to his overzealous celebration.
After finding the back of the net, Maguire wheeled away and cupped his ears in front of the home supporters. And Keane was not impressed.
“He’s put his hands to his ears like he’s shutting the critics up – but I think that’s embarrassing,” Keane said.
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“He’s been a disgrace the last few months for Man United. He thinks because he’s scored there he’s going to shut his critics up. Embarrassing.”
Maguire’s first goal for his country came at the 2018 World Cup as he nodded home a corner to open the scoring in a 2-0 quarter-final victory.
He got on the scoresheet again during a friendly with Ireland last year, before his late strike helped the Three Lions secure an important World Cup qualifying victory over Poland in March.
The centre-back then scored in his country’s 4-0 Euro 2020 quarter-final win over Ukraine and notched against Hungary in September before his strikes either side of the weekend.
Terry’s encouraging words will come as a huge boost for Maguire, who has struggled for form during the early part of the campaign.
The 28-year-old has been part of the United side that was thumped by Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester City in recent weeks.
The Red Devils have dropped to sixth in the Premier League table and the team have come under enormous pressure following their dismal displays.
And Maguire will be looking to help Man Utd put things right when they travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford on Saturday.
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